Energy Committee Update
September 11, 2009
Staff Contact: Ken Pokalsky
In their session yesterday, the Senate gave final legislative approval to a “green jobs” bill, but failed to pass a bill requiring broad greenhouse gas limits.
- S.5888 (Aubertine)/A.8901 (Silver) passed the Senate, after receiving Assembly approval in June. This bill creates four additional NYSERDA funding programs using proceeds from RGGI allowance sales, above and beyond those approved in NYSERDA’s RGGI “operating plan”, which was finalized in April. If signed by Governor Paterson, S.5888 will allow NYSERDA to spend up to $112 million on these new programs over a period of years; NYSERDA believes that it could provide about $40 million in year one. These programs include: public outreach/program development; energy audits; a “green jobs” revolving loan fund; and job training services. Business participation in these programs is limited to small, independent businesses (with 100 or fewer employees); and focus on improvements to structures rather than process or combustion sources. The Business Council opposed this legislation for a variety of reasons.
- S.4315 (Thompson)/A.7572 (Sweeney) was not approved, despite a strong push by its Senate sponsor and environmental advocates. The bill passed the Assembly in May. The Business Council and other business interests strongly opposed this bill, which would have required the Department of Environmental Conservation to achieve aggregate greenhouse gas limits of 20 percent below the 1990 baseline by 2020, and 80 percent below the 1990 baseline by 2050. The Department would be allowed to regulate any source of greenhouse gas emissions, including utility, industrial, commercial, residential and/or transportation. The Business Council opposed this proposal due to its direct impact on members; and considering the ongoing Congressional debate on a national program. There will likely be ongoing efforts to push this bill through the Senate in any special session later this year, and during the 2010 regular session.
Governor Paterson issued Executive Order 25 which creates a Governor’s regulatory review committee, and a review process to evaluate existing state regulation in order to “reduce unnecessary burdens, costs and inefficiencies” and to help improve the state’s economic climate. This effort will initially focus on six state agencies, including the Department of Environmental Conservation. These participating agencies are directed to invite public comment on unnecessary, duplicative and/or burdensome regulations, and provide a 60 day period for public input. Agencies are to issue a report on recommended changes for between two and ten especially problematic rules.
The Business Council is soliciting input on anti-competitive regulations imposed by New York State agencies. Clearly, several major environmental regulations, including those related to greenhouse gas emissions, new source review, and water intakes are of particular concern. We would welcome your input on these and other environmental regulations having an adverse impact on the state’s energy sector.
For additional information, contact email@example.com.